Drone Mating Area

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by brooksbeefarm, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    We read and hear about the drone congregating area but how many of you have ever seen one? I've been keeping bees sence 1965 and have not seen one or ever talked to a fellow beekeeper who has? Someone must have or we wouldn't know they exist,this is just another mystery that we (or i anyway) don't understand,how drones from different hives know where this place is that none of them have been there before? Then we have a new queen that just 16 days ago was an egg,emerge and fly out of the hive knowing exactly where this secrete place is to find boy friends:roll: Being from the Show Me State, this is really hard for an old country boy to figure out. Yes, it has been a long winter and my wife just walked by and read this laughing and saying i need help? So can anyone explain these things to me.:lol: Jack
     
  2. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Jack, my ears are up for information on what landmarks the bees would use to stage and find the congregation areas. I will likely have to put out my own drones as there is likely no ferals or kept bees within range of me. I would like to know, for instance, what direction and topography a virgin queen would first seek as she flies out.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Jack, asking the questions the rest of us are too shy to ask! :lol:
     
  4. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    The latest Walter T. Kelley newsletter discusses this topic. I just read it this morning. Very interesting...
     
  5. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    Ok blueblood let us in on what they said, I would like to know myself.

    kebee
     
  6. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I have never seen one either, or if I did I sure didn't know it.
     
  8. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    I've never gone looking. I feel they deserve their privacy and I'm not a pervert peeping Tom. It reminds me of my adolescence when us young ones always new the good places to go park But our keepers (Parent) didn't know ware we where and what we where up to. We were studying at a friends house. Honest, really.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I am getting to quite enjoy Apisbees responses.

    I would guess (from what I have read or seen) that very few folks have ever seen a drone congregation area. The current thinking is that there is some geographic quality that defines such an area and that these area are used season after season (almost like there is some genetic memory of direction to the area). I myself suspect there are a couple of thing going on (if it was a one cause fits all kind of thing people would have really figured out cause long long ago... but quite plainly they have not) which makes these area desirable for all the youngin' to hang out and pick up girls..... kind of like a well known beach in Florida during spring break (if you know what I mean?).
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I could be mistaken, but I always thought that "Drone Congregation Areas" are what these were? :lol:
    Anyone else remember these? We still have one in Nova Scotia, and it's only 20 minutes away! :thumbsup:

    Drive in.jpg
     
  11. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Perry the only one left in BC is in Enderby
     
  12. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    There have to be millions of drone congregation areas not just one:???:, and i would think they would be common place like finding swarms and people calling in reporting strange bee sightings just 50Ft. or so off the ground.:grin: They say? that drones will fly farther to congregation areas than the queen, if so how does the queen find them? does she have an escort?:roll: This being one if not the most important part of beekeeping, you would think we would know more about this subject and have many videos showing these areas.So go ahead and call me a Voyeur:eek: but this is one porn film i'd like to see made.:lol: Jack
     
  13. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Ah Enderby, not far from Armstrong. I spent a night there once (against my will). :shock: Armstrong was full that night! :lol:
     
  14. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Magnetism and Pheromones or Tree lines and Breaks in terrain. That's a pretty broad general idea.
    Logically??? A large amount of drones would probably release a lot of pheromones, possibly attracting a queen?
    The question still remains though.
    What attracts the drones?
     
  15. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    I can't resist Ray!
    Hot, young tall galls with long sleek body's. At the appropriate age, ripe for the taking. Did I mention they're Virgins!
    I'm shocked we had to have this talk Ray.

    Seriously though it is an obviously built in genetic trait Like the bee dance? Who teaches the bees to communicate that way. As you stated the pheromones and the bees sensitivity to them is one possible means. The queen and drones both take orientation flights before either of them are ready to mate so maybe the areas are mapped out in the preceding days or the queen and drones have a chance to discover them. I am glad that the droned and queens have this system to communicate these drone congregating areas but like many things in nature I find if more rewarding to marvel at its beauty than to question its existence or how it works.
     
  16. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I wonder if perhaps a drone congregation area is found by a queen more by sound than sight? I know that drones make a different sound when flying so it stands to reason a bunch of them might make a particular dull roar that a queen can pick up?
    Just guessing here.
     
  17. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    This is how Perry's wife finds him, by the sound of the scraping of the snow shovel and all the cursing.:thumbsup: :lol::lol: Jack
    PS. good point Perry.
     
  18. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

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    I belive that a beekeeper close to me in masccote did an exstencive study on the subject...i have seen pictures of him holding a very long rod up in the air as he was documenting it....Miska or Miksa (close to that spelling) is his name...id havta look it up...Rast would know.
     
  19. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Queen pheromone attracts drones, not vice-versa. DCAs have been studied extensively for different bee species. Each prefers certain heights over ground or trees. It is different for mellifera than cerana, than dorsata. Trees are used as landmarks by most bee species. Ashley Mortenson has been doing extensive DCA work for the last few years. When she publishes, I will share.
     
  20. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I have always thought that the queen went to the DCA? So maybe the queen picks the DCA? The old timers use to say that the queen would only mate with the drones that were the strongest and flew the highest, and i bought it.:???: Jack